Associate Agreements

September 17th, 2013 by

Whether structured as an employment agreement or as an independent contractor agreement, a well thought-out associate agreement will clarify the working relationship between the employer dentist and the associate dentist.

Associate Agreements

As with any other contract, Associate Agreements must clearly set out the arrangement between the parties. Identifying the parties’ respective rights, roles and responsibilities may serve to minimize conflict and unnecessary expense in the event of a dispute or in the event that the associate relationship comes to an unanticipated end.

Before drafting the Associate Agreement, determine whether the associate will be an employee or an independent contractor. The classification of the relationship depends upon the owner dentist’s and the associate’s respective expectations of the relationship. Some points to consider include:

1. Will the associate only work for the owner dentist or does he or she have the flexibility to work at other offices?

2. Will the associate have control over the treatment plan or will the owner dentist have control over the manner in which the work is completed?

3. Is the owner dentist willing to make CPP contributions, pay EI premiums, pay membership fees (i.e. RCDSO and ODA dues) and to make similar payments?

4. Will the associate stand to gain from any new patients brought into the practice?

For more useful information see the Canada Revenue Agency Information Bulletin: http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/menu/ITSC_500-eng.html.

A typical Associate Agreement also addresses issues such as restrictive covenants (non-compete/non-solicitation), termination provisions and remuneration.

Check our website for our upcoming blog on restrictive covenants in Associate Agreements.
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